Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Notre Dame



Let's pause from my tales of Vietnam for a moment. A momentous and tragic event is Paris has occurred, and it seems to be obligatory for all social media users - bloggers included - to post a photo from the archives of the finest cathedral the French have to offer. Who am I to buck the trend? It's also the done thing to share a few words about how wondrous and meaningful Notre Dame was during that trip a few years back. Hmmm. Perhaps I shall be a bit 'au contraire' after all.

I was underwhelmed by Notre Dame. I don't entirely know why. It's tough to put my finger on it. I mean, it is a magnificent cathedral. It is terribly old. And yet I was terribly underwhelmed. Perhaps it was the weather. Perhaps it was my mood. Perhaps my ignorance of it's history and importance in western culture played a part. Perhaps because it was so well looked after, it looked almost new. Perhaps the grand expections derived from its reputation had a certain negative effect. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. It was 'just' another cathedral. One of many that I have visited.

How underwhelmed was I exactly? Would you believe that I don't have a single photo of the exterior.  Not a one. I just wasn't sufficiently inspired to reach for my camera. And I have only a few from the interior, including the one shown. Is it a photo of Our Lady? I couldn't tell you.